President and CEO: SAMRC. An NRF A1 rated scientist, CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Professor Glenda Gray is a qualified pediatrician and co-founder of the internationally recognised Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. Prior to her appointment at the SAMRC, she was the Executive Director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, an affiliate of Wits University. Glenda’s global profile includes a role as Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), a transnational collaboration for the development of HIV/AIDS prevention vaccines. She is also Director of International Programmes for HVTN and Chairperson of the Board of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, USA. She received South Africa’s highest honour - the Order of Mapungubwe - for her pioneering research in PMTCT. Other prestigious accolades include the Nelson Mandela Health and Human Rights Award for significant contributions in the field of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Selected as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, Glenda is a recognised leader in her field. Her qualifications include an MBBCH, FCPaeds (SA), DSc (honoris causa SFU), DSc (honoris causa SUN), LL.D (Rhodes).
is a South African clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist widely recognized for scientific contributions to HIV prevention and treatment. He is Director of the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Durban, and CAPRISA Professor of Global Health at Columbia University, New York. He is an Adjunct Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard University, Boston, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Cornell University, New York, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. He is an Associate Member of The Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University. He previously served as President of the South African Medical Research Council and is currently serving as the Co-Chair of the South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 and as a Member of the Africa Task Force for Coronavirus and the Lancet Commission on COVID-19. Dr Abdool Karim is ranked among the world’s most highly cited scientists by Web of Science. He serves on the Boards of several journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet Global Health, Lancet HIV and mBio. He is the Chair of the UNAIDS Scientific Expert Panel, WHO’s HIV Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee as well as the WHO TB-HIV Task Force. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Global Health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His many awards include the African Union’s “Kwame Nkrumah Award” which is Africa’s most prestigious scientific award, the Kuwait Al-Sumait Award, the Canadian Gairdner Global Health Award and pinnacle awards from the African Academy of Sciences, Academy of Science in South Africa, Royal Society of South Africa and the South African Medical Research Council. He is member of the US National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Microbiology and the Association of American Physicians. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS). They have got my project on time with the competition with a sed highly skilled, and experienced & professional team.
Professor Koleka Mlisana is the Executive Manager: Academic Affairs, Research & Quality Assurance at the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS), since July 2018. Prior to this she was the HOD: Medical Microbiology at UKZN/IALCH; and also served a term as a member of the NHLS Board. She has previously been an active HIV/AIDS researcher for over a decade focussing on HIV prevention and pathogenesis, working at the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Durban. She has undertaken seminal research which has revealed how the body responds during acute HIV infection. Her current research interests include TB diagnostics, antimicrobial resistance as well as sexually transmitted infections and has co-authored more than 130 peer reviewed journal articles. She continues to supervise postgraduate students (PhDs, and Masters) as well as examining postgraduate theses from the various academic institutions. Amongst other national commitments, Prof Mlisana recently chaired the Pathology/Laboratory Committee on the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Covid-19; serves as a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Soulth African National AIDS Council (SANAC). She has nurtured and mentored many young scientists. Her passion is to groom the next generation of leaders and scientists to be well rounded individuals – academically, socially and spiritually.
Graeme Meintjes is an Infectious Diseases Physician and the Second Chair and Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He also holds the SARChI Chair of Poverty-related Infections. He was previously the joint head of a busy infectious disease’s referral service at GF Jooste Hospital in Cape Town and currently undertakes consultant clinical work at Khayelitsha and Groote Schuur Hospitals. He has contributed to the development of management guidelines for HIV and TB at a provincial, national, and international level. His research focus areas include HIV-associated TB, the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, cryptococcal meningitis and drug-resistant TB.
Bonga Chiliza is an Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is also the current President of the South African Society of Psychiatrists, as well as the Deputy Editor of the South African Journal of Psychiatry. He completed his medical degree and psychiatry specialization at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and his PhD at Stellenbosch University. His research interests include schizophrenia, consultation-liaison psychiatry, health services and medical education. Prof Chiliza has received several awards, including the Hamilton Naki Clinical Research Fellowship, and research grants from international funding agencies. He has authored over 75 peer reviewed articles and book chapters. He has also served on a number of NGO Boards, including the SA YMCA and Life Choices. He is one of the Founding Directors of Harambee Medical Consulting and the Africa Global Mental Health Institute.
Professor Richard Hift was born in Durban. He studied Medicine and then specialised in Internal Medicine at the University of Cape Town, after which he joined the South African Medical Research Council’s Liver Research Centre in Cape Town. Here he trained as a clinical hepatologist, while completing his PhD with a dissertation entitled Variegate porphyria: molecular aspects and their clinical and biochemical consequences. In 2007 he was appointed Head of the Department of Medicine at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine and in 2012 he was appointed Dean and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine. He held this post for a five-year term, during which his priorities included the standardisation and improvement of the undergraduate medical curriculum and undergraduate teaching, development of a decentralised province-wide clinical training platform, formalisation of postgraduate clinical training and the introduction of the MMed degree, inculcation of a research culture among clinicians, accelerated research outputs and transformation amongst medical academics. For two years he chaired the South African Committee of Medical Deans, where he was instrumental in effecting a number of major initiatives, notably, the return of the Nelson Mandela-Fidel Castro medical collaboration students from Cuba and standardisation of the MMed research component nationally. Currently he is directing a formal programme of research development, promotion and support in the College of Health Sciences including the establishment of a Doctoral Academy. He recently chaired a working group tasked to develop a new funding model for training of clinician scientists, an SAMRC funded programme that is aimed at addressing the need for accelerated growth in the number of Clinician Scientists by encouraging the development of integrated clinical/research training programs for clinicians across all South African universities. Throughout his career he has retained a broad interest in clinical medicine, teaching and learning and research. His own research interests have included hepatitis, porphyria, the cognitive aspects of learning and expertise in clinical medicine, and the sociological aspects of the return of the South African students trained in Cuba, and academic aspects of postgraduate supervision and the academic and cognitive changes associated with PhD candidacy.
Glaudina Loots is the Director for Health Innovation at the Department of Science and Innovation in South Africa and as such is responsible for the implementation of the Health components of the Bioeconomy strategy for South Africa. She concentrates on enabling research and innovation that leads to discovery and evaluation of new drug and treatment regimes, the development of new vaccines and new robust diagnostics, as well as the development of medical devices. Glaudina was instrumental in the creation of the Strategic Health Innovation Partnership Initiative at the South African Medical Research Council. Amongst others, Glaudina is a member of the Ministerial Advisory Committees on COVID-19 Vaccines, as well as Antimicrobial Resistance. She also serves on the South African National Health Research Committee, the South African National AIDS Council, and the Advisory Board of the “Towards and HIV Cure Initiative” of the International AIDS. She is a Board member of The Biovac Institute, a Public-Private-Partnership aimed at the local manufacturing of vaccines and biologics.
Prof Tahir Pillay is Chief Specialist, Professor and Head of Pathology and the department of Chemical Pathology, University of Pretoria and NHLS, Steve Biko Academic Hospital and Director of the Division of Clinical Pathology and Clinical Pathology training programme and Honorary Professor of Chemical Pathology, University of Cape Town. He was also previously head of Chemical Pathology at the University of Cape Town and Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; Deputy Director, Institute of Cell Signalling, University of Nottingham, UK. He is President of the South African Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine and elected member of the Academy of Science, South Africa. In South Africa, he has spearheaded the application of state-of-art digital technology in textbook publishing with the release of two acclaimed “4-dimensional” digital textbooks in laboratory medicine that have been published in 51 countries; “Practical Clinical Chemistry: core concepts” and “Interactive Mathematics for Laboratory Medicine”. He is also Editor-in-Chief of the London-based BMJ group journal, Journal of Clinical Pathology. He heads the Communications and Publication Division(CPD) of the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory medicine (IFCC) , the first person from the African continent to lead a division of the IFCC since inception in 1952 ; he is a member the International Committee of the Royal College of Pathologists, London and country advisor to the Royal College of Pathologists; He has served on the Publications Core Committee of the American Association of Clinical Chemistry, the only member of an AACC committee from outside North America. Nationally, he has recently served as Ministerial appointee to the HPCSA Medical and Dental Board (MDB); Council member of the College of Pathologists, SA and Senate member of the Colleges of Medicine, SA; member of the Postgraduate Education and Training committee, HPCSA MDB; chair of the Curriculum Committee and Standard Generating Body of the HPCSA-MDB; member of the Clinical Chemistry Expert committee, National Health Laboratory Service. Prof Pillay graduated MBChB cum laude from the University of Natal in the 1980s. He obtained a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Cambridge and completed his postgraduate specialist training at Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College, London and postdoctoral training at the University of California San Diego. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and the College of Pathologists, South Africa. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Juvenile Diabetes International Fellowship, the American Foundation of Clinical Research outstanding postdoctoral award, the Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellowship, Professors Prize from the Association for Clinical Biochemistry, UK and the Senior Researcher award from the South African Association for Clinical Biochemistry. Prof Pillay’s research and extensive publications span the area of the molecular cell biology of insulin signalling,the cell biology of insulin resistance, molecular modelling of ligand-receptor complexes and he is pioneering the use of single domain antibodies (“nanobodies”) in point-of-care testing.
Dr. Sudesh Sivarasu Ph.D is an associate professor of biomedical engineering from the department of human biology in the faculty of health sciences of University of Cape Town. He is an adjunct international lecturer for the Global Health Program in North-western University, Chicago, USA. He is a qualified electronics and instrumentation engineer with masters and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from VIT University, India. His research focuses on developing appropriate health technologies with a special focus on its suitability and translation towards low resourced settings. He is the head of medical devices lab, research group and orthopaedic biomechanics research groups at UCT. Dr. Sivarasu has supervised 5 Ph.D’s and 24 Masters students to completion and presently supervising 5 Ph.D’s and 16 Masters students. His research has been successfully funded by several national and international funding agencies including the NRF, MRC, SHIP, DTI, DST, TIA, USAID, DST-India & UCT. His funded research volumes to over 72 million Rands. Dr. Sivarasu also conceptualized the multi-award winning FrugalBiodesign™, a unique medical device innovation methodology. Dr. Sivarasu is a serial MedTech innovator with over 19 patent application families, including 51 patent applications and 12 granted patents from USA, UK, South Africa and India. He also has over 75 peer reviewed publications and is associated with 2 MedTech start-up companies from his inventions. Dr. Sivarasu is the recipient of UCT Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s award for achievement in Innovation in September, DST’s Innovation Bridge Award and NSTF-South 32, TW Khambule award for Emerging Researcher in addition to other 16 MedTech awards across 4 continents. He was recently elected as a member of the Global Young Academy (GYA) and South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS).
Prof Heike Geduld is Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Emergency Medicine at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town. Prior to her appointment in 2019, she spent 10 years as the Clinical Head of Education for the Western Cape EMS and was MMed Program Director for the joint Emergency Medicine Program at the University of Cape Town and Stellenbosch University. She is immediate past-President of the College of Emergency Medicine of South Africa. She is a founding member and Past President of the African Federation for Emergency Medicine (AFEM). Within AFEM she has been involved in numerous educational projects including the development of the AFEM postgraduate physician curriculum. She served as core faculty for the Emergency Medicine training program at MUHAS in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and has done short course training in Namibia, Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, Madagascar and Egypt amongst others. She has consulted on Emergency Care systems and Injury Care for the WHO and was one of the authors of the WHO/ICRC Basic Emergency Care Course (BEC). In 2020 she served as an expert for the WHO Clinical Guidance Group for the Clinical Management or COVID-19 as well as on the Guidance Group for living guidelines for COVID-19 therapeutics. These groups produced the WHO Guidance for the Clinical Management of COVID-19 as well as the Therapeutics and COVID Living Guideline. Heike serves as faculty on the SAFRI Fellowship in Medical Education and Leadership teaching and mentoring young African educationalists. She attributes her role as one of the first class of Emergency Medicine trainees in Africa as helping to define her identity as an African Emergency Physician and driving her career goals. Her areas of personal interest are emergency medicine education, social accountability and women in medicine. She is one of the founding members of the Women in Global Health South Africa chapter, which will be launching officially in 2021. In 2016, she received the South African Medical Association (SAMA) Gender and Humanitarian award. In 2018, Heike was awarded the Fellowship of the Order of IFEM (FIFEM) for her work in developing Emergency Medicine in Africa.